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Summary

A thrilling new novel exploring the lives of a Chinese mother and her daughter who has been adopted by an American couple.

Li-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. There is ritual and routine, and it has been ever thus for generations. Then one day a jeep appears at the village gate - the first automobile any of them have seen - and a stranger arrives. In this remote Yunnan village, the stranger finds the rare tea he has been seeking and a reticent Akha people.

Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her mountain, translates for the stranger and is among the first to reject the rules that have shaped her existence. When she has a baby outside of wedlock, rather than stand by tradition she wraps her daughter in a blanket, with a tea cake hidden in her swaddling, and abandons her in the nearest city. After mother and daughter have gone their separate ways, Li-yan slowly emerges from the security and insularity of her village to encounter modern life while Haley grows up a privileged and well-loved California girl. Despite Haley's happy home life, she wonders about her origins, and Li-yan longs for her lost daughter. They both search for and find answers in the tea that has shaped their family's destiny for generations.

In her biggest seller, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, See introduced the Yao people to her readers. Here she shares the customs of another Chinese ethnic minority, the Akha, whose world will soon change. A powerful story about a family separated by circumstances, culture, and distance, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane paints an unforgettable portrait of a little known region and its people and celebrates the bond that connects mothers and daughters.

©2017 Lisa See (P)2017 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What listeners say about The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

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Very interesting and enticing story

Both the story and the narrator's were very good! The book follows the physical and emotional journey of a girl born in a remote mountain village in China, her life in the village with ancient traditions and beliefs and, later on, her encounters with the rest of China and the western world. Meanwhile, the reader periodically follows the story of the illegitimate child the main character had to give away at a young age. The novel is emotional, thought provoking, and hard to out down.

4 people found this helpful

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Stunning, Lisa See at her best

Heartbroken it's finished...can't wait for the next one. Lisa See is brilliant at evoking the mood and weaving the culture.

3 people found this helpful

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Fav

My fav book of the year so far.
Intricate and beautifully written and I loved the premise.
Lovely reading style too.
So hard to picture it began in 1988 rather than early 1900’s.

2 people found this helpful

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Loved this. Didn’t want it to end

Fascinating story of a young girl in China through to her middle age. References many significant world events in that region. Very well narrated. And I learned a lot about tea!

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A must read/listen

This isn't my preferred genre but was recommended and I'm so pleased it was. I personally find listening add depth to the book if the narrator/s are good which was tge case in this instance. I am definitely going to read other books from this author as well as the genre. Great story, albeit upsetting in the early chapters about the Aka traditions, but this is how we learn about the lives of people across the world. I hope there is a sequal to this particular book. Definitely in my top 5 of all time favourite books!

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Interesting

Interesting book, learned a lot about China and its Ethnic Arka people. However the 2nd half if the book was disappointingly unrealistic so let the story down.

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Satisfying Chinese Family Saga

A generations long saga with fascinating detail about the transition of China; the Oka minority and tea. Sub themes about adoption and women's rights but what will stay with me is the sense of sacred embedded in the culture. A satisfying end.

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finished too early!

This lost one star because I felt it ended too early leaving the story unfinished. I definitely wanted to find out what happens next and not in a good way.

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Moving and inspiring

I have read several of Lisa See's books, all of which were amazing. But this was the first audio version I have tried and I really enjoyed it. It brought the characters to life and the story was incredibly moving. Definitely recommend this!

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Compelling

Fascinating setting. Great story and characters. in love with tea now. romantic. far fetched in places but that's OK

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  • Dee Cunningham
  • 24-05-20

Enchanting

I absolutely loved every minute of listening to this utterly enchanting story. My heart broke at times, but the history and the tea making process and culture was fascinating!